Student Spotlight

Sustainability and the Private Sector
December 6, 2018 — Marshall B. Distel

In recent years, the concept of corporate sustainability has come to the forefront of debates on how to achieve global sustainability. Corporate sustainability is often discussed in conjunction with sustainable development and corporate social responsibility, but it can be defined simply as a corporate management paradigm that has evolved away from the traditional growth and profit-maximization model into a new model that recognizes the importance of environmental protection, social equity and economic development (Wilson, 2003). Corporations are becoming more active… Read More
Integrating Resilience and Happiness – Part II
November 12, 2018 — John Hicks

[In Part I of this two-part series, published on November 5th, John Hicks discussed Copenhagen's holistic approach to climate change adaptation that not only protects the city from impacts of climate change but simultaneously enhances the quality of life for its citizens. In this final installment, John introduces some of Copenhagen's world-renowned climate resilience projects, including innovative greenspace and a commitment to cycling as sustainable urban transportation.] One of Copenhagen’s world-renowned climate-resilient projects is TåsingePlads, a small urban greenspace in the… Read More
Integrating Resilience and Happiness – Part I
November 5, 2018 — John Hicks

Denmark is consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world. Many have hypothesized various reasons for the happiness scores, but even Danes themselves shrug their shoulders when asked why their country always dominates happiness surveys. It is well documented that they have high-quality healthcare, education and welfare benefits. Many attribute Danish happiness to the cultural phenomenon known as “hygge,” which values intimate personal interactions with family and friends. However, there may be another possible explanation for the… Read More
Madrid’s Urban Ecology Innovations – Part III
October 22, 2018 — Marshall B. Distel

[In Part I of this three-part series, published on October 8, Virginia Tech Master of Natural Resources (MNR) student Marshall Distel introduced the city of Madrid as a case study for working to employ a wide array of innovative strategies related to urban ecology to enhance resilience and sustainability. Part II (October 15) explored Madrid's attempts to support sustainable transportation, green infrastructure, and open space planning. In this final installment, Marshall will review urban ecology and governance in Madrid.]  … Read More
Are We Too Tribal for Global Sustainability?
October 18, 2018 — Casey Bata

When I was first getting to know my fiancé, I remember being very nervous to ask what I thought was an extremely important question. A question that, if answered “incorrectly," could lead to the quick demise of our new relationship. I mustered up the courage and tried to sound casual. “So... who is your football team?” Crazy, right? I was nervous about who his football team would be... as if it would be a deal breaker. His response caught me… Read More